It is essential to encourage children to explore different areas of interest while keeping them positively engaged during their adolescent years. Cayman is fortunate to have access to a wide range of free and low-cost programmes geared toward adolescents which can be found below.

Extended After-School Programmes

The Ministry of Education sponsors an extended after school programme in public primary and high schools which is run by the YMCA. The programme operates from 3pm-6pm weekly and there is a rotating range of activities, including sports and homework help. Transportation home is provided for high school students. The annual cost to parents within primary schools is CI$75 and financial assistance can be sought. High school students register through the YMCA website. Primary school parents through the school office. Call (345) 922 2432, email easp@ymcacayman.ky or visit www.ymcscayman.ky.

Sports

Athletics

The Truman Bodden Sports Complex (TBSC) comes alive in the afternoons with children doing track and field. There are four different clubs and they are very welcoming: Speed Athletics is run by Coach Porter and you can call him on (345) 525 2793 or email him at speedathleticstrackclub@gmail.com. They take children from the age of four. Falcon Athletics works with children from the age of 8-20 and you can email them on falconathleticsinfo@yahoo.com. Hy-Tech Tigers TFC accepts children from the age of six and you can contact Coach Williams on hytechtrackclub@gmail.com or by calling (345) 925 1943. The Mustang Track Club accepts children from the age of five and you can call them on (345) 925 6917 or email: tajyen@hotmail.com. Finally, the Special Olympics Cayman Islands offers a variety of sports training for children and adults ages 8+ with intellectual disabilities. To learn more, visit www.soci.ky.

Cricket

Cayman Cricket organises competitions from May to June for primary and secondary schools (for boys and girls) and there are youth training sessions on Saturday mornings from 8.30am-10.30am at the Cricket Pitch. Email: president@caymancricket.ky.

Baseball & Softball

Cayman Islands Little League, operated by the YMCA of the Cayman Islands, teaches children aged 4-18 skills in baseball and softball. If you are looking for a safe environment emphasising teamwork, good sportsmanship, and healthy competition email: info@littleleague.ky, or visit www.littleleague.ky.

Basketball

The Cayman Islands Basketball Association’s afterschool basketball training is available for students up to 16 years. Practice takes place on Thursdays and Fridays from 3.30pm-5.30pm and costs CI$10 a month. The U18 national training programme takes place at the First Baptist Church gym on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5.30pm-7.30pm. For more information, call Coach Voot O’Garro on (345) 916 5083 or email: info@caymanbasketball.com.

Cricket

Cayman Cricket organises cricket practice for all U15s on Saturday mornings from 9am-11.30am and Sundays from 3pm-5.30pm during the school year. Email: secretary@caymancricket.ky or call David Bernard on (345) 517 9328.

Football

Academy Football Club provides opportunities for families from different socio-economic backgrounds on a case-by-case basis by accepting assistance through fundraising and volunteering time in lieu of fees. Contact head coach, Paulo Mourinho on (345) 929 2257, email: paulo@academysportsclub.ky or visit www.academysportsclub.ky.

Karate

Students can try a free week of classes at Cayman Associated Schools of Karate (C.A.S.K.) at the Kings Sports Centre. Adolescents may be eligible for scholarships or financial assistance and can contact the Chief Instructor Greg Reid directly. Tel: (345) 925 3367 or visit www.caskcayman.com.

Netball

The Cayman Islands Netball Association (CINA) has a junior league and games are played throughout the year for under-12s, under-14s and under-16s. A membership fee of CI$5 is made once a year. Contact Lucille Seymour on (345) 916 1944 or via email: caymannetball@yahoo.com. For more information, visit www.caymannetball.com.

Rugby

The Rugby Club in South Sound runs a well-established programme for students up to the age of 18 with yearly junior membership fees of CI$125. Both girls and boys are encouraged to come down. Contact Caroline Deegan for more information on (345) 525 6743, email: caroline.deegan@caymanrugby.com, or visit www.caymanrugby.com.

Skateboarding

The Black Pearl Skate Park in Grand Harbour has grown into a bustling centre of activity for Cayman's children and teenagers. The dynamic course can be accessed for a daily fee of CI$7 and consists of beginner, intermediate and expert ramps. It is the largest skate park in the western hemisphere and is a mecca for youth in the Cayman Islands.

Brownies

Personal Development & Leadership

One2One Cayman (was Big Brothers Big Sisters) is a child, youth and young adult mentoring organisation with an age range for its mentees of 6-25 years old. Programmes are one-on-one matches, however older males (16-25) participate in a group setting. Mentors and mentees meet regularly, with professional support provided by staff. For more information, call: (345) 326 7967 or visit www.one2one.ky.

The Cadet Corps instils life skills and high standards of conduct through military-style activities. Three programmes are offered: band cadets, marine cadets and army cadets. The programmes could result in BTEC Level 2 qualification and/or honours in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme. They accept boys and girls from ages 11-19. For further information, email: cadetcorps@gov.ky, call Mr Error Brathwaite on (345) 938 8822 or visit www.cicadetcorps.ky.

Girlguiding helps girls build their confidence, discover their full potential and make a positive difference in the community. The Guides cater to the 10-14 age group, and the Rangers are for 14-18 years. Girl Guides work hard to make their pricing as inclusive as possible for all members of the community. Visit www.girlguidingcaymanislands.ky for further information.

The Scouts Association is a non-formal educational programme which encourages the holistic development of boys through outdoor activities. From the Beaver Scout programme (6-8 years) to the Cub Scouts (8-11 years) to the Scouts (11-19 years), boys will develop vital skills and earn badges. Groups meet weekly. Call Winston on (345) 939 8813 or email: ciscouts@candw.ky for more information.

The TAYA Lounge is run through the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre (email: taya@cicc.ky) and it offers individual or group sessions to help youths build healthy relationships through communication tools and emotional management.

Kids enjoying activities at NGCI

Arts & Culture

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands runs the Walkers' Art Club, an after school Art Programme for ages 5-17. The classes are sponsored by Walkers and are free to attend. Register online at www.nationalgallery.org.ky.

Cayman Youth Choir runs three choirs for ages 4-18 on Mondays at John Gray High School. The choir is sponsored by Cayman Arts Festival and there is no fee to join. No audition necessary, and it is open to all children and teens. Email: caymanyouthchoir@gmail.com or call (345) 922 2079 for more information.

Time to Spare

Devoting time to a charitable cause is a valuable way to teach adolescents a sense of community responsibility. Cayman is very fortunate to be home to a large number of non-profit organisations and charities that assist different groups in need across the Islands.

The Cayman Islands Humane Society (Tel: (345) 949 1461 or visit www.caymanislandshumanesociety.com) is always looking for volunteers and is a great way for adolescents to get active through dog walking or helping with pet grooming and animal care.

Church Groups

Most churches in Cayman offer a Friday night youth group. They provide a supportive environment for your adolescent’s spiritual development and encourage teenagers to actively support their congregation. The Cayman Islands Baptist Church boasts one of the strongest youth followings. For children ages 12-18, their 'Friday Night Fuel' from 7pm-9pm includes food, fun, fellowship and faith! Call (345) 946 2422 or visit www.cibaptist.ky for more information.